Arbitration & Mediation

Arbitration & Mediation

Dr. Katherine Simpson, FCIArb, is an arbitrator based in London (33 Bedford Row) and in the US (Simpson Dispute Resolution).  She has been involved in over 30 international commercial and investment cases chaired by Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel, Prof. William (Rusty) Park, and Ms. Edna Sussman, among others.  These cases had amounts in controversy ranging from US$5 million to US$2.5 billion and have become the most influential arbitration cases of the past decade, including Bear Creek v. Peru (ICSID 14/21) (elaborating the need for a “social license” to conduct business) and UP v. Hungary (ICSID 13/35) (Global Arbitration Review’s “Most Important Award” of 2019, the Achmea Decision's impact on ICSID jurisdiction).

In 2019, Dr. Simpson was invited to join the AAA-ICDR international panel.  She has experience in investor-state arbitration (7 cases) as well as international commercial disputes related to the hospitality industry, joint ventures, life sciences, telecommunications, patent licensing, construction, green energy, mining, oil & gas, human rights, financial services, and financial disputes.

She has served as sole arbitrator in international disputes conducted under the Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA") and has experience in cases conducted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), London Court of International Arbitration (“LCIA”), Dubai International Arbitration Centre (“DIAC”), the German Institution of Arbitration (“DIS”), and the Chinese European Arbitration Centre (“CEAC”).  She has served in ad hoc arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) Rules (2010) and in investor-state arbitrations before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (“SCC”) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”).

Dr. Simpson is an arbitrator and does not provide barrister services. 



Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Böckstiegel (2018):  Starting from her time some eight years ago when she was at Cologne University, Katherine Simpson has helped me in many of the commercial and investment cases I chaired, as Secretary or Assistant to the Tribunal. She proved to be highly efficient in supporting my case management, researching sources, or providing narrative drafts for decisions the Tribunal had to make. Other members of the tribunal and the staff of various arbitration institutions appreciated her work and she was well respected by counsel of the parties. Obviously, over the years, she gained a large amount of experience and I have no doubt that, by now, she could efficiently and successfully serve as an arbitrator.

Prof. William W. (Rusty) Park (2018):  Dr. Simpson has been an excellent Tribunal Secretary and has now doubtlessly arrived at the point where she will provide fine service as an efficient and intelligent arbitrator.




Dr. Simpson is an attorney who is admitted to practice law in Maryland and New Jersey, USA.

She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).

She is listed on the AAA-ICDR international panel roster.

Education and Training

Education and Training

  • Data Science Professional Certificate, Harvard University, HarvardX (presently completing)
  • Doctor of Juridical Sciences (Dr. iur.), international law and banking, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Master’s Degree (LL.M.), international economic law, University of Cologne, Germany
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.), University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland U.S.
  • Master in European Studies (M.E.S.), Center for European Integration Studies, Bonn, Germany
  • Bachelor / Master’s Degree, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
  • Hague Academy of International Law, Private International Law, The Hague, The Netherlands



Eunice Shang-Simpson and Shayda Vance introduced the Arbitrators of African Descent List to ArbitralWomen, with their January article "The New List:  Arbitrators of African Descent with a U.S. Nexus"

In "Fireside Chat with ArbitralWomen President Dana MacGrath", panelists Erika Williams and Dana MacGrath highlighted Dr. Simpson's initiative to increase balance on the CETA Roster, which demonstrated that even individual actions make a difference for diversity.

Dr. Katherine Simpson presented as part of a panel at the September 8, 2020 USCIB/ICC Event "Uses and Misuses of Tribunal Secretaries."  ArbitralWomen Newsletter, Issue 42 .  Dr. Simpson provided this sample appointment text to attendees: Sample Appointment of Administrative Secretary for ICC Cases, September 2020

Global Arbitration Review, "New US List Promotes Arbitrators of African Descent" (4 September 2020)

Response by the European Commission on "CETA Arbitrator Roster - Where Are the Women?", ArbitralWomen News, July 2020.

Dr. Simpson's work in response to the gender imbalance in the CETA List of Arbitrators was cited by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration's Report of the Cross-Institutional Task Force on Gender Diversity in International Appointments and Proceedings, The ICCA Reports No. 8 (2020).

"Simpson analyzed the credentials of the individuals nominated to the roster and prepared a list of 70 equally qualified women who were similarly eligible to be placed on the list.  She noted that 'there is no shortage of qualified women in international trade law, or in international dispute resolution, generally.' ... the CETA example nevertheless shows that there are occasions where women are failing to be given the same opportunities to obtain arbitral appointments as their male counterparts."

Funke Adekoya SAN, "A 'New' List - Arbitrators of African Descent" (African Arbitration Association) (26 June 2020), available at 

Africa Legal, "A New List of Arbitrators", (24 June 2020), available at 

African Arbitration Association, Funke Adekoya SAN is included in newly created List of Arbitrators of African Descent (19 June 2020), available at 

Women Leaders in Arbitration, an Interview with Katherine Simpson, ArbitralWomen Newsletter, Issue 39, April 2020

Katherine Simpson, "Developments in International Arbitration:  Keeping the Promises of a New Era", ArbitralWomen News, Issue 38 (March 2020)

Barry Leon, "Chairpersons for CETA state-to-state disputes.  Where are the women, Canada?", The Lawyer's Daily, 10 March 2020

Global Arbitration Review, GAR Awards 2020 - the Pledge Award (19 February 2020)

Dana MacGrath, "CETA List of Arbitrators - Where are the Women?", ArbitralWomen News, 28 January 2020

Teaching Experience

Teaching Experience

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA (2016 - Present)

  • Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis (2016 - 2020) and International Commercial Arbitration (2019)
  • Academic Affiliate, conducting research in investor-state dispute settlement (2018 - Present)

University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania (2015, 2016)

  • Visiting Professor, International Commercial Arbitration

University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany (2009 - 2013)

  • Coach, Telders International Law Moot Court Team 
  • Coach, Foreign Direct Investment Law Moot Court Team 
  • Coach, Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Team



Dr. Simpson served as Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School, teaching Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy and International Commercial Arbitration.

Dr. Simpson was appointed as a Visiting Professor at the University of Bucharest, Romania, where she taught international arbitration, in 2015 and 2016.

Dr. Simpson has provided expert testimony in matters related to the laws of the European Union.  Her doctorate in international law and banking would support her appointment as an expert in those fields.

Dr. Simpson is a Member of the Peer Review Board, ICSID Review – Foreign Investment Law Journal.



  • English: Native Speaker
  • German: Bilingual
  • French: Reading



American Arbitration Association, International Panel (AAA-ICDR).  

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, Education and Amicus Brief Committees

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London Branch

London Court of International Arbitration

State Bar Associations of Maryland and New Jersey


Atlanta International Arbitration Society

Federation of Integrated Conflict Management




  • Practicing Law Institute ("PLI"), International Arbitration 2021 (UPCOMING, June 22, 2021)

  • AELEX Arbitration Month, "Construction and Engineering Arbitration:  Efficiently Resolving International Construction Disputes", virtual event (UPCOMING March 11, 2021).  Registration  

  • University of Lausanne, Social License and Dispute Resolution in the Extractive Industries (February 19, 2021)

  • 9th Annual Arbitration and Investment Summit - Caribbean, Latin America and Other Emerging Markets 2021 - A Clear Vision for Your Future, "How sanitized are arbitral awards?  Privacy vs. Confidentiality - What is the New Normal?", virtual event, panelist (January 28, 2021)

  • International, Comparative, Foreign and Domestic:  A Virtual Gathering of Friends, University of Toledo College of Law. Panel:  Which Side Are You On?  Presenter:  The Diversity Dividend (January 22, 2021)

  • Cairo Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration ("CRCICA"), "Online Arbitration:  Best Practices and Avoiding Pitfalls - Full Course", virtual course, guest speaker (November 2020)

  • Caribbean ADR Initiative ("CADRIn") Connect Webinar "Document Management in Arbitration" (November 25, 2020)

  • Equal Representation in Arbitration, Push for Parity:  Practical Tools for Emerging Arbitrators (November 17, 2020)

  • American Society of International Law ("ASIL"), Africa Interest Group and the Institute for Dispute Resolution of New Jersey City University, "Diversity in the Legal Profession", virtual event, panelist. (November 13, 2020)

  • XII ABA Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes, "E-Advocacy:  Practical Issues and Tips on Using Remote Technology for Hearings", virtual event

  • USCIB / ICC USA Sole Practitioners' Group, "Uses and Misuses of Tribunal Secretaries", virtual event (September 8, 2020)

  • United States Council for International Business, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., Expedited Arbitration Proceedings

  • University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S. 
    U.S. and U.K. Practices in International Arbitration (with Paul Rose)

  • University of Michigan, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S. Presentation: Researching While Outside of “Academia”

  • University of Michigan Law School, “U.S. (International) Arbitration”, Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S., Guest-lectured in Prof. Allyn Kantor’s alternative dispute resolution course

  • XI American Bar Association / Russian Arbitration Association Conference, Moscow, Russia, Moderated panel on Tribunal Secretaries in International Arbitration

  • Financing, Structuring & Investing in Litigation Finance, NYC, New York U.S., Panel member, “Regulation, Compliance and Ethical Considerations”

  • Skills and Cultures: The Road Ahead for International Arbitration, Atlanta International Arbitration Society Conference, Atlanta, Georgia U.S., Panel member, “Americas Tertulia”, Cultural and Ethical Considerations

  • University of Michigan Law School, “International Human Rights Law”, Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S., Lectured with Judge Bruno Simma on human rights in investor-state disputes




Financial Inclusion & Consumer Empowerment: US and EU Legislation & International Soft Law. Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurt School Verlag, 2015.


"Conclusion" in Social License and Dispute Resolution in the Extractive Industries (with Stephane Brebant, forthcoming 2021)

“The Commission’s Priority:  ‘A Balanced and Progressive Trade Policy to Harness Globalization’” in Politicizing EU Policies – the Juncker Commission 2014 – 2019 edited by Robert Stuewe and Thomas Panayotopoulos. Nomos. (forthcoming 2020)

“International Arbitration in the U.S.” in Handbook on U.S. Law edited by Kirk W. Junker.  Hart Nomos Beck. (forthcoming, 2020)

“U.S. Immigration Law” in Handbook on U.S. Law edited by Kirk W. Junker.  Hart Nomos Beck. (forthcoming, 2020)

"Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit in den USA – Recht und Praxis." In US-Rechtspraxis, edited by Kirk W. Junker, 145-73. De Gruyter Praxishandbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.  (translated:  International Commercial Arbitration – Intersections with U.S. Law in Handbook for U.S. Law (de Gruyter, 2017))

 "Besonderheiten des US-Einwanderungsrechts – Ein Blick von Innen." In US-Rechtspraxis, edited by Kirk W. Junker, 392-416. De Gruyter Praxishandbuch. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.  (translated:  U.S. Immigration Law for Foreign Lawyers in Handbook for U.S. Law (de Gruyter, 2017))


Arbitrator "Intelligence" and the Mysterious Brown M&M, University of Toledo Law Review, Volume 52 (forthcoming),

Cleaning Up After A Self-Coup:  A Case for Reconciliation, JURIST - Academic Commentary, January 18, 2021, (with Dr. Anthony Marcum)

International Commercial Arbitration Diversity:  The Numbers Are Askew, JURIST - Professional Commentary, June 17, 2020, 

"UNCITRAL arbitral tribunal, in unpublicized ruling, finds that Chinese BIT extends to Macao under 'moving treaty frontiers' rule." IA Rep. (July 21, 2014).

"Arbitrators say China BIT allows them to determine if expropriation occurred, but MFN can't be used to broaden jurisdiction further." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (July 21, 2014).

"Annulment is not an appeal: ICSID ad hoc committee dismiss Paraguay's application to annul SGS v. Paraguay award." IA Rep. (June 13, 2014).

"Arbitrators see no deliberate 'closing of eyes' by investors with respect to conduct by its local business partner (Minnotte & Lewis v. Poland)." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (June 6, 2014).

"Tribunal rules that Australia BIT does not express advance consent to arbitration; a dozen other Australian treaties are worded similarly." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (February 27, 2014).

"Recourse to negotiating papers leads arbitrators to conclude that Indonesia intended to offer advance consent to arbitrate in its BIT with the UK." IA Rep. (February 27, 2014).

"UNCITRAL tribunal makes 'abuse of process' finding in face of belated move to take on foreign ownership in order to press claims against state." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (February 25, 2014).

"In now-available UNCITRAL award, tribunal chaired by Brigitte Stern says that MFN clause cannot be used to broaden jurisdiction of Germany-Bulgaria treaty." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (February 25, 2014).

"Bulgaria obtains enforcement of costs award; court dismisses investor's belated allegation of arbitrator bias due to issue-conflict." Luke Eric Peterson, co-author. IA Rep. (February 14, 2014).

"A Tale of Two Arbitration Courses - The Barbarians Live on the Other Side of the Rhine: My Experience with Two Arbitration Courses." (2011).